HOUSING FOR ALL E-NEWSLETTER ISSUE 2 SUMMER 2012

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1 HOUSING FOR ALL E-NEWSLETTER ISSUE 2 SUMMER 2012 Welcome to Bruce County s second Housing Newsletter! This newsletter is a collection of upcoming events, stories, resources and announcements to keep you up to date with what's new in housing. Please feel free to share this newsletter with others or let us know if you would like additional contacts added. Secondary Suites Frequently Asked Questions Subject to municipal specifications within local official plans and Zoning By-laws What is a Secondary Suite? A permanent separate residential unit subsidiary to, and may be located in the same building as, its principal dwelling unit. May house elderly parents or other family members, or may be rented as a residential unit. Where are Secondary Suites Permitted? Within residential land use designations, subject to the requirements of the local Official Plan and Comprehensive Zoning By-law, generally where the Zoning By-law permits a detached dwelling, semi detached/duplex dwelling, or rowhouse. One (1) secondary suite is generally permitted in any detached dwelling, semi-detached/ duplex dwelling, or rowhouse in any Zone that permits these dwelling types provided: Inside this issue: Secondary Suites FAQ 1 Benefits of Secondary Suites Housing & Homelessness Plan YIMBY Update 3 Housing Report Card 3 Y Housing Landlord List 3 Secondary Suites Success Story Council Road Show 5 Investment in Affordable Housing It does not change the streetscape character along the road on which it is located; - It is not a stand-alone, principal unit, capable of being severed; -The lot is not legally non conforming with respect to lot width or lot area. What zoning restrictions affect secondary suites? Local zoning by laws may: Govern compatibility with the main dwelling and surrounding land uses; Restrict any business or commercial enterprise taking place within the secondary suite; Set out restrictions involving the unit size, alteration to the outside of the principal dwelling, parking requirements, and water and sewer/septic servicing requirements; Require that health, safety, servicing, fire and building code standards are met; Require municipal registration of the secondary suite Can I have more than one (1) secondary suite? Only one (1) secondary suite is permitted per lot What are the parking requirements for secondary suites? The principal dwelling unit and secondary suite must share the parking area and yards provided for the principal dwelling unit, and no new driveway may be created. Parking requirements are based on dwelling unit types on the lot. My suite was constructed without a permit. How can I legalize it? Apply for a Change of Use permit under the building code and request a compliance letter from the municipality.

2 Page 2 To Tenant 1. Increase supply in market and tend to be lower cost than apartments. 2. Offers a choice to live in a low density neighbourhood. Secondary suites are ground oriented and usually include access to yards. 3. Suites in existing neighbourhoods include the benefit of having access to existing schools, shopping, recreation, and other services. Benefits of Secondary Suites To Owner 1. Offers an option for new home owners to assist in mortgage payments. 2. Seniors have greater potential to remain in their homes. Seniors may feel more secure and have assistance with property maintenance through tenant agreements. 3. Gives children or elderly relatives an opportunity for independence within same principal dwelling, alternative to assisted living. To Community 1. Modest population increase in communities that may be subject to population decline due to life cycle changes. 2. Neighbourhood character: increase rental housing stock without significantly changing form of low density neighbourhoods. 3. Good urban design: Increase density in existing neighbourhoods, lessening pressure to develop at outer edge of community. 4. Make use of existing infrastructure (utilities, roads, parks, schools) that may be under utilized. 5. Socio economic diversity: allows citizens from a range of economic levels and age groups to live in same neighbourhood. Benefits of Legislation 1. More reliable and stable rental supply. 2. Recognized by lenders such that they can assist in qualifying new home owners for mortgages. 3. Tenants will be more easily identified, and can result in higher population counts, thus increasing population based government grants. 4. Increased certainty on number of dwelling units provides government better opportunity to plan infrastructure requirements. 5. Increasing legal opportunities for secondary suites will provide better opportunity for ensuring maximum health and safety standards are met (Fire and Building Code). Housing and Homelessness Plan As part of the new Housing Services Act, each service manager area of the province is required to create a 10 year Housing and Homelessness Plan which will assist Bruce County in addressing the local needs of citizens in need of affordable housing. The plan will incorporate the work we have already done on our Long Term Housing Strategy as well as additional requirements outlined in the Housing Services Act. The planning process began in June and will continue until spring 2013 at which time the plan will be presented to County Council for approval. Public consultations this fall will be a part of the process in the areas of: Off reserve aboriginal needs; Homelessness; Housing for disabled; Victims of domestic abuse; Consolidation of the three housing programs If you know of any organizations or individuals who may be able to provide further insight into any of these areas please have them contact Susan Earle at or ex 106 If you would like to hear more about this initiative please do not hesitate to call our office or watch our website for updates at housing/ housing programs.php

3 Page 3 YIMBY Update A Place to Call Home is the slogan created by the YIMBY team to educate the public about the importance and necessity for affordable housing in Bruce County. The 15 member YIMBY Team is made up of representatives from the private sector, the non-profit sector, government, and the community-at-large to ensure key messages are spread effectively across sectors and communities. Members of the team have been promoting affordable housing in their own municipalities- see Walkerton Herald Times interview with YIMBY member Rev. Herb Klaehn to the right. The team is currently investigating the possibility of creating a video which will tell the story of those struggling to find affordable housing. These individuals represent the very essence of our community: our children, neighbours, parents, and grandparents, all who experience different circumstances at various stages in their life. All 8 priority actions have been completed with progress being made in the remaining 11 actions within the strategy, earning an A grade on the Bruce County Housing Report Card. The Report Card was created to track progress made in developing new housing units between The end goal is to reach 445 new units in Bruce County by The goal of creating 45 affordable rental or homeownership units per year was exceeded with a cumulative total of 94 units to date. To view the Long Term Housing Strategy visit: Y HOUSING LANDLORD LIST The YMCA website was reconstructed to include a special section for landlord information and links. A new HOUSING LIST is included where landlords are welcome to advertise their vacancies FREE of CHARGE. Quick and easy, the HOUSING LIST allows you to add or remove your postings 24 hours a day. Housing Support staff cover all areas of Bruce & Grey County and are available to facilitate communication and problem solve issues between landlords and tenants with the goal of preventing evictions For more information or to speak with the Housing Support Worker in your area

4 Page 4 Secondary Suites Success Story In February 2009, Josh and Amanda Planz were faced with rising property expenses and the desire to remain in their home and raise their family in a stable, secure neighbourhood. As a young, working family, these owners of 531 Green Street in Port Elgin realized that by converting their garage into a 2-bedroom apartment, they could earn additional income to assist them in their monthly mortgage payments. As the zoning on the property did not allow apartments, the Planz family submitted a Zoning By-law Amendment application to the Town of Saugeen Shores to permit the conversion. The County Planning Department conducted a site inspection; reviewed existing planning legislation and policy within the Ontario Planning Act, Provincial Policy Statement, County of Bruce Official Plan, and Town of Saugeen Shores Local Official Plan; reviewed submissions from commenting public agencies, including Town staff; notified the surrounding property owners of the proposal; and prepared a recommendation for the Town s Planning Advisory Committee to support the re-zoning application. By April, their application was presented to the Committee in a Public Meeting. The Committee recommended approval of the application to Saugeen Shores Council, and Council granted final approval which authorized the Planz family to build the apartments. This is an exterior shot of the secondary suite (left side) that the Planz family created in their existing detached garage. The Planz family have an average-sized lot, with room for additional parking and adequate open space. Existing vegetation provides a buffer to neighbouring homes. The mixed-use neighbourhood is comprised of a range of housing densities, styles and tenure in close proximity to the town s downtown services and amenities. As a result of the new apartment, there has been no major extension of services or excessive generation of traffic or noise. The introduction of the apartment has not changed the character of the residential neighbourhood. For more information regarding secondary suites please contact: Leah Andrews Barrie Bruce County Planning and Economic Development Department ex 258 An interior view of the kitchen in this spacious secondary suite.

5 Page 5 Council Road Show Susan Earle and Leah Andrews Barrie visited each of the 8 municipalities reporting progress made to date of the 10 year Long Term Housing Strategy which is currently in its second year. They are seeking commitment of councilors for the following actions: Housing First Policy for surplus municipal lands- A commitment that the first priority in the decision making process respecting surplus or potentially surplus municipal property shall be affordable housing development, and the surplus property be made available for affordable housing purposes at a reduced cost Donation of municipal property for affordable housing development, a commitment that they will provide land at no charge if feasible Waiving Fees- a commitment to provide a grantin-lieu of residential development charges, planning fees and building permit fees for new affordable housing development in return for a commitment by the developer or non-profit provider to meet specified affordability targets Secondary Suites- A commitment to augment the supply of rental housing by permitting secondary suites in existing residential development At this time 5 of the 8 municipalities have made a commitment to at least one of the four actions. The support from the municipalities is very much appreciated and needed in order to reach the goals set out in the Long Term Housing Strategy. Investment in Affordable Housing Wellington Shores - Port Elgin 28 new one and two bedroom affordable units completed in the fall of 2011 The Housing Division has been very busy this spring with new programs. There are 4 aspects of the Investment in Affordable Housing program including: New affordable rental housing to be built by private developers in Kincardine (6 units ) and Port Elgin (4 units ) More rent supplement funding for rental subsidy with private landlords Home ownership funding for down payment assistance Home repair assistance for home owners The programs have been very popular with most of the funding committed for the home ownership and home repair programs. This is a 3 year program with funding from the federal and provincial governments in the amount of $1.8 million. The program ends March 31, 2015.

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